Reporting live from Shea Stadium...well, it kind of feels like I'm still there, since I arrived at quarter of 6:00 and was still in my seat at 11:40 when...uh...I'd rather not talk about it just yet. It was nice for a while. And I suppose I got pretty good bang for the buck.
I had okay seats (for a measly--by NYC standards--$35), about eight rows back on the field level in right field, maybe 250 feet or so from home plate. It was prime foul ball territory, especially for David Wright: I nearly got drilled when I wasn't looking during batting practice, and I gather that I made a few appearances on television during the game when foul balls headed my way. Combined with the balls that Mike Cameron was tossing into my section, had I been sitting just about anywhere but my exact seat tonight, I would've come home with a souvenir. Which, incidentally, would not have made me feel any better.
Tonight's game had the makings of such a perfect contest for the Crew. For so long, the Brewers have relied on their pitching, rarely bailing out a starter in distress, and tonight it looked so clear that they would save Tomo Ohka. And then save Lehr and de la Rosa. And then maybe even save Turnbow. But really, there's a limit.
If there was any good news from game 107, it was all offense: Carlos Lee knocked in four runs; Jenkins is still hot; perhaps most importantly, Rickie Weeks appears fully out of whatever slump he was in. I love that he keeps getting hit by pitches at the Major League level: it would be great if before one of the games with Houston later in the year a photographer could get Biggio and Weeks together for a photo op. "Passing the torch: one generation of bruises to the next."
But, of course, there's plenty of bad news. And it comes in the worst possible form: bad, sloppy, inefficient pitching. It's one thing if the Mets were just "on" tonight, but it seemed like every time I looked up, some Met was batting with a 2-1 or 3-1 count. From what I understand, that's the one thing Mike Maddux just doesn't abide by, and you didn't have to watch much of tonight's game to understand exactly why. Even setting aside the disaster that was Julio Santana's 11th inning, there were 5 walks in the first 10 innings, which is bad enough, even ignoring the fact that most of those 2-1 counts turned into the EIGHTEEN New York base hits. Eighteen. I wonder how many starts Ben Sheets could make without giving up eighteen hits, total.
Back to the good news for a second, though: tonight's roller-coaster of a game made for a great win probability graph. Here it is:
- Clark, -13.4%
- Weeks, +9.4%
- Overbay, -15.8%
- Lee, +34.3%
- Jenkins, +56.7% (a go-ahead HR in the top of the 9th really racks up those win probability numbers...)
- Hall, -13.1%
- Branyan +5.0%
- Miller, -8.3%
- Ohka, -2.4%
- Magruder, -1.6%
- Lehr, -2.0%
- Helms, -5.8% (those late-game leadoff strikeouts are killer.)
- Ohka, -22.5%
- Eveland, +12.6%
- Lehr, -15.2%
- de la Rosa, -17.6%
- Wise, +10.6%
- Turnbow, -30.4%
- Santana, -22.9%
Under normal circumstances, Jenkins, with his more than 50% win probability added, would be the unquestioned game MVP. But tonight, of course, there were lots of dips and dives, and Mike Cameron was responsible for even more than Geoff was. Cameron racked up a +79.2% for the night. Wow. If it makes you feel any better (it shouldn't, but it might make you laugh), Zambrano's score for the night was -51.8%, and Beltran's was -40.3%, which is really hard to achieve for an offensive player. 0-fer-6, including 2 double plays in a tight game, will do it, though.
I'm not going to write any more about this, since I had to watch it, and then I had to input it to create the graph, so I'm going to think happy thoughts now. Like facing Pedro tomorrow. Hmmm... I'll be at the game, I'll try to take a few pictures, and I hope I'll have a nice graph with an upward tilt at the end to present to y'all tomorrow evening.